While I was eating breakfast one morning, my father showed me an article with an interesting title, suggesting the phrase “I’ll Sleep When I Die” could end up being a killer philosophy, as a lack of sleep can result in diabetes and an earlier death. It was because he noticed me going to bed at midnight and waking up at six in the morning to catch the bus to the University of Washington from my home in Lynnwood.
This wasn’t something I saw myself doing in high school—even when I was struggling on a project or procrastinating, going to bed at midnight was rare, as it would be in bed by eleven o’clock. It wasn’t ideal, as a teenager should get between nine to ten hours of sleep a night; yet I felt a source of superiority towards my other classmates, who would work until one in the morning before they fell asleep. This is not considering the swim team; it is said that they woke up at around four to go to the pool and to practice.
I’d like to think that it’s because of the workload which I entangled with—because of papers and readings and translations I have to do, I fully intend to finish them all.
Simultaneously, distractions popped up, pushing bedtime further into the night and homework to the back burner. And every time, I would go to bed defeated, trying to indulge in a certain amount of unconsciousness before the cycle repeats again.
Sleep is something I would usually take for granted—or at least, I would assume I had enough time to do so. Even if I went to bed at two in the morning, where one would have the deepest sleep according to the biological clock, I could assume to get eight hours of sleep on a holiday or a weekend. I know if I did so during the weekdays, I would only sleep for four hours a night, which would not be ideal in any way.
Either way, I find myself nearly dozing off in classes, struggling to pay attention to everything while my eyelids become heavy. I recently took to napping on the bus when I really wanted to read whatever book I want to read for fun. I would read a bit, then zone out. While looking at nothing in particular, I zone out from everything.
I haven’t noticed how a lack of sleep has impacted my life. The need to nap is prominent—while I’ve noticed a lot of people doing so in the library or any other possible location they could, I felt like I didn’t have a major need to do so. That arrogance has also cracked over the last few months.
A lot of people value breaks and weekends for the fact they can hit the golden eight hours of sleep, maybe nine or ten if they are lucky. I assumed I would always get it, but nowadays, I have to discipline myself to get a lot of sleep—like all the little things I have to worry about in this life.